February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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26 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 Ed Levy is the director of software products at Hirsch In- ternational and owner of Digitize4u, an embroidery and digitizing operation. A 23-year industry veteran, Levy has owned screen printing, embroidery, and digitizing business- es. In 2001, Levy began consulting and founded EmbForum, a professional Tajima DG/ML by Pulse software users group. THREAD ... ACCORDING TO ED B Y E D L E V Y D igitizing with texture is the difference between a good de- sign and a great design. We learn to think about texture within individual shapes rather than looking solely at the design itself, but with the large array of tools available in modern software, it is easy, not to mention tempting, to create a shape quick- ly without putting a lot of thought to the end result. A flat design lacking in texture and dimension will not set you apart from your competition and will certainly not build any type of customer loyalty. What's more, it only takes a few extra moments of thought to add flair to a design to make it really stand out. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE COLOR It is very easy to use color to create the differences in shapes, sections, and elements within a design. By using color, the eye clearly differ- entiates one portion of a design to another. However, color does not create texture and color does not create dimension. Too often we rely on color to accomplish these goals when in reality all we are doing is creating an optical illusion. One of the best ways to see if you are achieving dimension within a design is to quickly convert it to one color. This will enable you to see the true dimension within a design. STITCH TYPES Stitch types are very important when determining the type of texture that will be incorporated into a design. Regardless of the level of de- tail, there are only three primary types of stitches within any design. These stitch types are fill, satin, and run. A fill stitch is typically used to cover larger areas within a design. Fill stitches are a flat type of stitch and don't have much loft to them. Ways to utilize a fill stitch to create dimension include using mul- tiple stitch angles between shapes or selecting different fill patterns. A satin stitch is a column stitch that has one needle penetration on each side of the column. A satin stitch has more loft than a fill stitch and has a brighter shine to it as well. Satins are used for shapes as wide as 8–10mm, for lettering, borders, and detail. Digitizing with Texture The basket on the left let the software take as many shortcuts as possible whereas the basket in the center was done thinking about creating a realistic look. Switching it to one color helped to show the details or lack thereof. The basket on the far right is the finished basket complete with outlines.

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